Seeking Local Business Leaders for 5th Annual CEOs in Schools Program

Registration is now open for Tampa Bay CEOs and senior executives to spend a day at a Hillsborough County public elementary school and share their experience with students and school leaders.

TAMPA, Fla. – (September 18, 2023) – CEOs in Schools, now in its fifth year, welcomes Tampa Bay area executives to spend a day in the heart of the classroom and engage in an exchange of knowledge with educators. On Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, business leaders will have the unique opportunity to work alongside dedicated principals, teachers and staff, applying their expertise to the prospects and challenges faced by our local public schools.

A collective effort between Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF), Vistra Communications (Vistra) and Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS), CEOs in Schools is designed to cultivate engagement between industry trailblazers and the future workforce, laying the foundation for academic and personal success. This innovative program places 150 CEOs in public elementary schools across the county for a one-day, hands-on learning experience that often forges year-round beneficial relationships.

“This program is a testament to the power of collaboration between businesses and education. CEOs in Schools underscores the pivotal role these relationships play in shaping a brighter future for our students and community as a whole,” said HEF CEO Kim Jowell. “We eagerly anticipate this year’s program and the transformative impact it will undoubtedly have.”

President and CEO of Vistra, Brian Butler, founded the program in 2019 to inspire area executives to invest in education and the development of our future workforce. “CEOs in Schools bridges the gap between the corporate world and our schools, fostering positive partnerships and innovation for the betterment of Tampa Bay and beyond,” said Butler. “The knowledge and resources these business leaders possess can contribute greatly to the success of our schools and students.”

“CEOs in Schools shows us what can happen when education and industry come together,” said Van Ayres, HCPS Interim Superintendent. “This initiative is a testament to our shared commitment to nurturing young minds and preparing them for life. We’re excited to welcome these CEOs and executives back to our schools and witness the positive influence they bring.”

Participants who would like to volunteer for CEOs in Schools can reserve a school at With so much interest from returning participants, there are less than 50 schools still available, located mainly in south county, the Plant City area and north Tampa.

For interested media, interviews and video opportunities can be arranged with a CEO and principal who can share how their ongoing partnership has positively impacted students and the school and what they’ve learned from each other through this initiative.


  • Orientation Happy Hour: Oct. 19 at 4:30 p.m., Hillsborough Education Foundation, 2306 N. Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33607. New participants will join us for orientation and learn more about this year’s event.
  • CEOs in Schools in-school volunteer event: Media opportunities will be available at select schools. Please let us know in advance if you are interested in visiting a specific school. 

About Hillsborough Education Foundation
Established in 1987, Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF) is a nonprofit focused on strengthening public education by supporting teachers and empowering students to achieve academic and personal success. Together with our community partners, HEF strategically invests in initiatives that impact teaching quality and increase graduation rates, bolstering a thriving workforce of tomorrow and the sustainable prosperity of Tampa Bay. Learn more at

About Vistra Communications
Vistra is an award-winning, integrated marketing, communications and consulting agency providing a range of services to corporate, government and nonprofit organizations. Our team includes strategic communications professionals with expertise in public relations, community engagement, marketing, graphic/creative design and focus groups and surveys. The company has been ranked number one in the Top PR Firms in the Tampa Bay area according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Vistra is SBA 8(a) Certified and a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) headquartered in Lutz, Florida. For more information, please call 813.961.4700 or visit

About Hillsborough County Public Schools
Hillsborough County Public Schools is America’s seventh-largest school district and the largest in central Florida. The district has more than 250 public schools, more than 24,000 dedicated employees and more than 224,000 students. Our teachers and leaders have helped our students boost their graduation rate to 87.9 percent, a district record, in the 2021-22 academic year. Our high schools were highlighted in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools list. Hillsborough County Public Schools has been recognized as part of Forbes’ annual list of Best Employers for Diversity for promoting a welcoming and supportive environment that celebrates and values diversity and respect for all students and our employees. Learn more at


Tanya Arja or Jennifer Holton
Hillsborough County Public Schools
Office of Communications

Kayla Gleason
Hillsborough Education Foundation
[email protected]